Connors’ Comments for Saturday, August 3, 2019




FIRST RACE – Stretch headwind … BEACH MEMORIES was three-wide almost to the 3/16 then took back to follow cover, three-wide again 11/16 to circle up to uncovered late turn, made the stretch lead, withstood URBAN RENEWAL. The latter moved at the ¼ to follow the winner, could not stay with his wide brush to the ¾ and was three-deep uncovered on the turn, made up ground as the pace was slowing late. P H KENNY was looped and got in 3/16, up into the pocket and the Pocono Pike, not quite enough. ROCKIN CELEBRATION was third in the three-wide tier on the turn, last headstretch, passed quite a few horses late. WARP FACTOR THREE sat in and was backed up to last, deep Pike, evenly. BASS PLAYER left and made the lead, forced the ¼, yielded, vacated the pocket to follow the first-over horse off the second turn, was blindswitched by the winner and was backed up significantly on the turn, in tight quarters in the stretch, hard to tell if he had any pace left. PAPRIKE BLUE CHIP was out the duration, mostly with cover, started gapping off turn two. JEREMES GENERAL was three-wide early then two-wide to the lead at the ¼, fought hard to keep the first-over challenger from clearing down the back, tired the last 3/16. UNCLE HAL came first-over towards turn two, got an advantage down the back but couldn’t clear, fell back far turn.


SECOND RACETOM’S AROCKIN moved outside 5/8 and accelerated 11/16 to roar right by the leader into the turn, called his own winning margin. JENKINS CREEK was third-over, circled dull cover midturn, just up for the distant second over SLIPIN SKIP. The latter was rough-going, made the front off the first turn, had no answer for the winner at the ¾, went on gamely but could not preserve second. DAVID THE SAINT stayed in, was behind a struggler on the turn, to the Pocono Pike, evenly. WESTERN DYNASTY couldn’t get into the main action. WESTERN ALUMNI was second-over, gapped immediately after the winner accelerated 11/16, left raw, not too much. ONE AND ONLY was far back throughout. ONE THROUGH TEN made the lead, yielded for the two-hole, nothing the last ¼. MAYTIME TERROR broke equipment 5/16, was taken wide and was pulled up.


THIRD RACEBEYOND DELIGHT was three-wide past the 1/8, didn’t make the lead until almost the 3/8, under extreme pressure late backstretch and through the turn, but asserted himself over tough challenger MISS U BIG MIKE. The latter moved out raw into turn two, accelerated off same and went his own third panel 26.4 raw, gained a short advantage over the winner ¾ but could not clear, held his ground very well against a tough winner. CONCUR left a big gap early, moved out behind an empty horse, went three-wide around him and ducked back to the rail, gapped on the turn, but found renewed life in the Pocono Pike and was third. ALTA SHELBY N left quickly, made the front, forced a foe to work hard before yielding before the 3/8, moved outside behind the first-over late backstretch, evenly in the stretch. LIMA RAIDER came out late on the turn, evenly. SHOW THE FASHION tucked 3/16, was able to go up into the pocket but couldn’t produce any more forward action. ROLL WITH FRED moved second-over but fell back quickly early in the backstretch. CHEYENNE FORD had no pace.


FOURTH RACECENTURY CHURCHILL used the rail to good effect, stinging a foe to the 5/16 then yielding to sit behind him, to the Pocono Pike and got the decision. BRUCE’S MAGIC was last but then saw five horses pull out at the half, came up the inside, out in a blindswitch on the turn then angled three-wide headstretch, finished steadily. SPORTSMANSHIP was stung well past a fast ¼ for command, continued at a good clip, tired late and just missed saving second. BONDI HANOVER was going to be fifth-over then ducked back in behind the place horse, some pace along the inside late. MAYFIELD DUKE was three-wide 3/16 then put in third past the ¼, out again past early backstretch raw, not enough after hard usage. HEARTBEAT HILL had to go five-wide in the lane and couldn’t quite reach. MESSI N was third-over behind a gapper, wound up four-wide headstretch, didn’t get into it. FEEL THE NEED A moved second-over off the second turn but was soon gapping.


FIFTH RACEBENJI’S BEST was uncovered going to the second turn, turned on the heat against the pacesetter and gradually gained, then proved the strong horse late in a very big mile. ATTA BOY DAN was looped going to the first turn, made the lead shortly past the ¼, got a breather then had to hit high gear again as the winner moved up, held bravely as usual but was outpaced tonight.  ROCK THE TOWN circled everybody looking for forward positioning, yielded past the ¼ for the pocket, held pretty well but settled for third ahead of PEMBROKE WILDCAT. The latter wanted a forward spot but took back early, gapped a gapper far turn, then finished with good late pace. DRAWING DRAGONS never achieved prominence. BIG GAME HUNTER got a good early spot, but gapped when the price of pacing went way up down the back. WAGON MASTER moved out 3/8 and was second-over, but left a big gap by the 5/8. LUCBOBSKI was out behind gapping cover, never entered into it.


SIXTH RACEBUZZEN GARLAND sat third behind wild early fractions, moved out 5/8, went right by ¾ and opened an insurmountable lead. QUICK DEAL was in the cover flow, three-wide midturn and gained some back on the long-gone winner. LIFE WELL LIVED was stuck in when the inner tier collapsed ¾, got out and went wide, came on for third. CHAPTER AND RUTH was out behind the winner but couldn’t keep up, left raw, not too much left late. SHE MATTERS passed tired horses. C-O-TO BLUEGRASS went to the lead and yielded, bottomed out chasing the fast pace. NORTHERN DREAM went to the top 3/16 in a hot quarter and strung out the field past a wicked half, all done when the winner came up to the ¾. P L LAVIA broke just before coming off the turn before the start. CHUCKIE ME broke just before the start.


SEVENTH RACEANWAR HANOVER was second-over, gapped slightly behind the third quarter battle then got tighter, three-wide approaching headstretch and was by far the strongest late. RUPP went into the pocket at the 1/8, swung into the Pocono Pike and got past DERECHO for second. The latter went right to the lead, held out the first-over challenger, but had not that much left to give late. WESTERN BAYAMA was first-up towards the clubhouse turn, paced in 26.4 raw down the back to fight with the leader, couldn’t sustain. BORN TO BE BAD took back early, moved, swung four-wide late turn, too far to come; SPEEDLING was right behind him, also had some late pace from an impossible spot. SUNSHINE WEST sat third-in, no response in the last quarter. HES GONE BADDER was third-over, blindswitched, no factor. PEMBROKE JOEY was stuck inside, got clearance inside in the lane but couldn’t gain.


EIGHTH RACE – Wind had died down … BUCKETLIST HANOVER used the rail well and forced the ¼, yielded, uncovered again 5/8, powered off past CHUCKABUCK through the lane. The latter quarter-moved from third, set his own fractions, was overpowered for the win but did save the place. MONTEVERDI was behind an excess of cover, finished very well very wide. COMMON PARLANCE saved ground, Pocono Pike, next. PASSTHECROWNAROUND was second-over but couldn’t keep stay with cover. BETTER CALL SAUL was three-wide leaving, made the front at the quarter, yielded to the brusher, empty late. VERDI D EM was third-over, three-wide 11/16 through the turn, tried to find more midstretch but couldn’t and broke, placed. GLOBAL ICE never entered the picture.


NINTH RACESAMS TRIPLE CROWN stayed two-wide early though looped by several horses, went up 3/16 to the lead before the 3/8, was giving ground late but just withstood RANCOUSY. The latter went up to the lead just past the 3/16, yielded after pushing the winner some and sat on his back, came out for the stretch, found his best gear midstretch and gained with every stride. HERE COMES SWIFTY was quickest away, yielded 3/16, third-in, struggled on the far turn but still beat the rest. BLAISE MM HANOVER rambled up a long way first-over, then faded some in the stretch. LINKJACK HANOVER gapped cover. BOOK BINGE took an early tuck, not much from past the ¾. REGAL HOPE and ALWAYS A FORCE were never a force in here.


TENTH RACEPRAIRIE PANTHER was second-over but didn’t get a great deal of help from his cover, three-wide midturn, still fourth just past midstretch but dug in with good late speed to gain the decision. SCOTT ROCKS was wide early, took the pocket 3/16, third-in, to the deep Pocono Pike, may have gotten a nose up deep stretch, good but second-best. WESTERN FAME backed off early, then quarter-moved, sped it up a bit down the back, couldn’t sustain to the wire. TIGER THOMPSON N came through from the rail to emerge with the early lead, yielded for the two-hole, inside the pacesetter stretch, not enough. HAVEFAITHINME N also took back early, was handled cautiously behind a wall of horses in the lane. ALWAYS AT MY PLACE was in a tough spot. PROPER ONE started uncovered into turn two, got to the pocket horse’s wheel ¾ but no closer before fading.


ELEVENTH RACEHITMAN HILL was three-wide to the 1/8 then two-wide to the ¼, kept going at a fast pace, had the pocket horse move at him at the ¾, and the third-in come up the Pocono Pike, but held those two off gamely in a three-horse battle. MIGHTY MR SHARKEY stayed connected, gained a spot on the turn then went to the Pike, fought very hard. OCEAN COLONY yielded at the ¼ for the pocket, came out ¾ and pressured the winner on the turn, fell back a little headstretch, but was resurgent midstretch and right there on the money. BILBO HANOVER stayed inside and was a distant next. CRUISE PATROL took back leaving, came out 11/16, got cover but couldn’t reach it. THE OTHERS never made their way into the dynamic of this race.


TWELFTH RACEBRO HANOVER was mildly urged leaving to preserve the pocket, came to the Pocono Pike and went by midstretch, then withstood HALLIE’S COMET. The latter came raw from fourth and gradually advanced a bit, then was moving very well just a bit too belatedly. TE KAWAU N made the lead at the 1/8, put up the fractions he chose to, was not able to last to the finish. MAJOR OFFENSE sat third-in, deep Pocono Pike, far ahead of the rest. EVER AGAIN started uncovered before the second turn and got cover at the half, but gapped it. REGGIANO was third-over but gapped a gapper. ROCK THREE TIMES stayed in, couldn’t stay with the front ones on the turn. THE OTHER TWO never made their presence felt.


THIRTEENTH RACEWEONA SIZZLER A quarter-moved from third, got a breather then went into sprint mode, beat TOPVILLE OLYMPIAN easily and the rest by half a block under a hold. TOPVILLE OLYMPIAN took command early and forced a tuck, yielded to the winner, couldn’t go enough to stay with that one but was far ahead of the rest. AWESOMENESS was pinned in on the far turn, to the Pocono Pike and along for third. NIMBLE AND QUICK swung wide from far back headstretch and had some finishing kick. FEELING CAM LUCKY was second-over, three-wide 11/16 as cover tired but didn’t advance. SOME PLAYA began uncovered 3/8 and went up, started to melt gradually to the 11/16. MR D’S DRAGON was put in the pocket 3/16, couldn’t keep up past the 5/8. DAKOTA JACK was out fourth-over when suffering severe interference behind third-over STORMONT CZAR A, who made a break early in the backstretch.


FOURTEENTH RACESOMETIMES A WINNER led the outer charge 3/8, paced 26.3 raw down the back opening gaps in the field and cleared to the ¾, maintained the advantage to the finish. MUSIC IS ART originally sat in then took the second chance and backed out behind him, left uncovered ¾, good as second. TEXICAN N came through at the start and forced a lineup, sped up down the backstretch, couldn’t keep the winner out but didn’t fade, Pocono Pike, battled to the wire. IDEAL WHEEL was also in the excellent outside flow, far ahead of the others. CANBEC KINGKAZIMIR sat in, shuffled a bit then backed out ¾, couldn’t make up enough ground. IC A FREE SPIRIT gapped inside. STILL FRISKIE maintained second in the early lineup, gapped out past the 5/8. MARINER SEELSTER never entered the picture.